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Toyota dominates record May 2021 new-car sales as HiLux, RAV4, Land Cruiser, Prado and Corolla all place in Top 10

After finishing third in April 2021, the Toyota HiLux ute regained the title of Australia’s best-selling vehicle in May 2021.

For the seventh month in a row in May 2021, the Australian new-vehicle market had a positive sales result, with its volume up a huge 68.3 per cent month-on-month, to a monthly record of 100,005 units.

For reference, sales increased by 12.4, 13.5, 11.1, 5.1, 22.4 and 137.2 per cent in November 2020, December 2020, January 2021, February 2021, March 2021 and April 2021 respectively.

However, sales were down 13.7 per cent year-on-year in 2020, partly due to 31 consecutive months of negative results, although they were up 37.5 per cent year-to-date in first five months of 2021.

A dominant Toyota (21,156 units, +46.2%) once again led front the front in May 2021, with it accounting for half of the Top 10 models, including the best-selling HiLux ute (4402, +24.8%), which held its archrival, the Ford Ranger (5021, +59.7%), in second place.

The Toyota RAV4 mid-size SUV (4014 units, +71.2%) rounded out the podium, while three of its siblings, the LandCruiser upper-large SUV (2795, +121.8%), Prado large SUV (2214, +63.0%) and Corolla small car (2190, +34.7%), finished in fifth, eighth and ninth position respectively.

As for the rest of the Top 10, the Isuzu D-Max (3058 units, +202.8%) continued to build serious momentum in fourth place, while another ute, the Mitsubishi Triton (2317, +167.6%) did the same in seventh position.

Elsewhere, the Mazda CX-5 mid-size SUV (2768 units, +87.2%) and Hyundai i30 small car (2127, +78.6%) took sixth and 10th place respectively.

As far as the remaining Top 10 brands were concerned, a rebounding Mazda (10,554 units, +86.4%) finished in second position, while a plucky Kia (7124, +158.1%), Ford (6493, +66.7%) and Mitsubishi (6478, +115.2%) shocked in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

And the final positions went to Hyundai (6450 units, +57.0%), Nissan (4307, +94.4%), Volkswagen (4005, +44.0%), Isuzu (3946, +174.2%) and Subaru (3547, +75.3%).

For reference, the SUV was the most popular type of new vehicle in May 2021, with an insurmountable 53.2 per cent share. It was followed by the light-commercial vehicle (23.0%) and passenger car (20.1%).

Sales in every state and territory grew in May 2021, with Tasmania (+109.8%) leading the Northern Territory (+89.3%), Western Australia (+78.2%), South Australia (+74.8%), New South Wales (+69.1%), Queensland (+67.0%), Victoria (+65.1%) and the ACT (+12.0%).

And it was rental, private and business sales that underpinned May 2021’s overall growth, up 69.4, 50.3 and 24.1 per cent respectively, while government sales were down 13.1 per cent.

Commenting on these results, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said: “While we cannot be certain about the future economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation, businesses and households are showing their confidence by purchasing new vehicles.

“I expect this situation will continue to improve in the second half of this calendar year as confidence continues to grow, coupled with incentives such as the extension of the depreciation allowance for business, which was announced in the Federal Budget during the month.”

He added: “The result also highlights the outstanding efforts by all parties in the supply chain in continuing to meet the demands of their of their customers in the face of ongoing challenges, such as the shortage of microprocessors and shipping delays.”

The most popular brands of May 2021

RankingBrandSalesVariance %

The most popular models of May 2021

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota HiLux4402+24.8
2Ford Ranger4254+59.7
3Toyota RAV44014+71.2
4Isuzu D-Max3058+202.8
5Toyota LandCruiser wagon2795+121.8
6Mazda CX-52768+87.2
7Mitsubishi Triton2317+167.6
8Toyota Prado2214+63.0
9Toyota Corolla2190+34.7
10Hyundai i302127+78.6